Coaching FAQs

What is coaching?
How is it done?
What would we cover in coaching?
Can’t I just do this with a friend or family member?
Do I have to be in the same location as my coach?
How can I know if coaching would be helpful to me, and that we would work well together?
How much do you charge?
How long does coaching continue?
Who do you work most successfully with?
Is coaching a form of psychotherapy?
What is your approach to spirituality in coaching?
I don’t have cancer but I have a family member or friend who does. Will you work with him/her?
My loved one has cancer. Could I benefit from coaching?

What is coaching?

Coaching is an ongoing professional relationship that can help a person make wise decisions, learn new skills, gain insight, make behavior changes, and enhance the quality of his/her life. As coach, I listen carefully, contribute observations and questions, assist my clients in developing action plans and marshalling resources, and support them through accountability and affirmation, in order to help them achieve their goals to get well and stay well.

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How is it done?

My coaching is done by telephone from anywhere you are – even if that’s on your sofa in your pajamas! I offer several coaching packages; specifics can be found in the Coaching Services section of this website.

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What would we cover in coaching?

You as the client determine what you want to focus on during each session. As a coach, I will listen to your priorities, and work with you to gain insight, set goals and determine actions to accomplish those. I will ask you to stretch the boundaries of what you thought possible because I believe you can! Typical areas of coaching for a person healing from cancer may be: determining what treatments and care givers to choose; how to handle work, family or finances while undergoing treatment; and establishing new habits that will lead to long-term wellness.

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Can’t I just do this with a friend or family member?

After a diagnosis of cancer, your loved ones face their own stresses and challenges in dealing with your illness. They are the best ones to provide emotional and practical support, and need to use their energies to support you in these ways. As a coach, I can provide you with objectivity and insight you probably wouldn’t hear from a friend or be willing to take from a family member. You can also rely on my professional confidentiality, and will benefit from my background as a registered nurse and cancer survivor.

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Do I have to be in the same location as my coach?

No. My coaching is done by phone from anywhere. (I’ve coached across as many as nine time zones.) At our scheduled appointment time, you call me at my U.S.-based phone number from wherever you are. Resources and any follow-up materials are sent via e-mail, fax or U.S. postal service.

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How can I know if coaching would be helpful to me, and that we would work well together?

I offer an introductory 30-minute phone session at no charge during which you can ask me any questions you like, and get a feel for my coaching style. I believe there needs to be an intuitive “fit” between coach and client, and this session provides the chance for us to determine whether we could work well together. E-mail me at melodie (at) wholelifecancercoach.com or call 207-510-7724, or use the Contact area of this website to schedule a time.

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How much do you charge?

If, after the 30-minute complimentary session, you decide to pursue coaching with me, I offer several options to meet your needs. Please refer to the Coaching Services area of this website for information.

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How long does coaching continue?

To be most successful, many clients find they need to be coached for a minimum of three months. Some have specific concerns that can be addressed in just a few sessions. Others continue for a year or more. Some may finish a stretch of coaching and return for “spot” sessions when they are up against a new challenge. While I encourage a three-month commitment, you are free to terminate coaching at the end of any month or paid block of time. I believe you know best when you’ve met the goals you set for yourself.

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Who do you work most successfully with?

My most successful clients:

  • Believe they are worth their best efforts.
  • Know they need a team to help them through the health crisis.
  • Want to inform themselves about a range of options for healing.
  • Are ready to take big steps to heal from cancer and to stay well for the long term.

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Is coaching a form of psychotherapy?

Coaching is different from therapy in several ways. Therapy is intended to look at a person’s current problems in light of his/her past, and to ask “why” a person is behaving a certain way. Coaching is future-oriented. It is focused on the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. Coaching is also action-oriented. It looks at how to close that gap through gaining insight, and setting and meeting goals. For a person with cancer, this means that we won’t take time trying to figure out “why” you got cancer. I won’t let you spend time bemoaning your bad luck (though there may be tears). Instead, we’ll look at your current situation, and find ways for you to heal and stay well that are in line with your values, beliefs and priorities. Because of its focus, coaching is usually faster paced, and you should see encouraging results quickly. There is a role for both coaching and therapy; it’s important to be clear on the difference.

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What is your approach to spirituality in coaching?

I believe the condition of a person’s spirit is important in healing from cancer, just as the physical, emotional and mental aspects are. I coach people of all faiths as well as those who describe themselves as atheist or agnostic. I’ve seen how faith can be a powerful support and motivator. Personally, I am a joyful follower of Jesus and you no doubt will see my perspective popping up in my blog posts and writing. My faith informs my worldview, but I strive always to respect my clients’ beliefs if they are different than my own. Resources (such as books) which I recommend will not violate my own beliefs; often they present universal truths that are taught by the world’s major religions.

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I don’t have cancer but I have a family member or friend who does. Will you work with him/her?

I’m happy for you to let your friend or family member know about my wellness coaching services. Beyond providing information about and discussing this option, it is important that the one with cancer determine any action to take. At a time when everything seems out of control, your loved one needs support, not pressure, to make the choices that are best for him or her. I trust that if coaching is something that will benefit your loved one, he/she will recognize this and pursue it. At that point, you can provide support through practical ways such as setting up appointments, arranging for payment, or assisting in completing the client forms.

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My loved one has cancer. Could I benefit from coaching?

With a cancer diagnosis, family members face major changes in lifestyle, work schedule, financial status, family role, relationships and future plans. Coaching can provide a safe structure in which to examine these issues and make decisions relating to the many life changes without “unloading” unnecessarily on your ill loved one. A coach can assist you in determining how to take care of yourself physically, mentally and spiritually during this stressful time so that you maintain your own health and perspective.

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